Saturday, September 17, 2022

Last Call For The Gaetz Of Hell, Con't

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz is currently facing a number of criminal investigations for sex trafficking of minors, campaign finance issues, January 6th insurrection involvement, and brokering pardons for people like Roger Stone. But now we learn on top of all that, he wanted Trump to preemptively pardon him specifically on the sex trafficking stuff before he left office.

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) told a former White House aide that he was seeking a preemptive pardon from President Donald Trump regarding an investigation in which he is a target, according to testimony given to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Johnny McEntee, according to people familiar with his testimony, told investigators that Gaetz told him during a brief meeting “that they are launching an investigation into him or that there’s an investigation into him,” without specifying who was investigating Gaetz.

McEntee added that Gaetz told him “he did not do anything wrong but they are trying to make his life hell, and you know, if the president could give him a pardon, that would be great.” Gaetz told McEntee that he had asked White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for a pardon.

Asked by investigators if Gaetz’s request for a pardon was in the context of the Justice Department investigation into whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws, McEntee replied, “I think that was the context, yes,” according to people familiar with the testimony who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

The testimony is the first indication that Gaetz was specifically seeking a pardon for his own exposure related to the Justice Department inquiry into whether he violated sex trafficking laws. His public posture in the final months of the Trump administration was much less specific, repeatedly calling for broad preemptive pardons to fend off possible Democratic investigations.

McEntee testified that Gaetz met him briefly one evening and discussed the issue of a pardon but McEntee could not recall whether their conversation happened before or after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, according to people familiar with the testimony.

The Justice Department investigation into whether Gaetz paid for sex, paid for women to travel across state lines to have sex, and had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, was opened in the final months of the Trump administration with approval from Attorney General William P. Barr. The probe stemmed from a federal investigation of Gaetz’s friend who is now a convicted sex trafficker. Gaetz has denied paying for sex or having sex with a minor as an adult.
With both McEntee and Mark Meadows both fully cooperating with the Justice Department, Gaetz's indictment is probably a lot closer than people think.
Then again, this has dragged on for over 3 years now.  That makes me believe the opposite. Gaetz has already won reelection with these allegations once, and there's no reason whatsoever to believe that he won't win by 20-30 points again in November.

Gaetz ia guilty as sin, but it doesn't matter if he's no indicted. He certainly won't be tossed out by the voters in his FL-1 district.

The Road To Gilead Goes Through West Virginia

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Friday signed a bill that bans nearly all abortions in the state, days after legislators approved the ban. This makes West Virginia the second state to pass an abortion ban after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

"I said from the beginning that if WV legislators brought me a bill that protected life and included reasonable and logical exceptions I would sign it, and that's what I did today," Justice said in a tweet.

Known as HB 302, the bill approved by state legislators on Tuesday prohibits the procedure at virtually every stage of pregnancy.

There are exceptions to the ban; one is an ectopic pregnancy, which is when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside of the uterus.

Physicians who perform unlawful abortions could lose their license to practice medicine and face criminal charges.

Additionally, the bill states that miscarriages and stillbirths are not considered abortions.

The Women's Health Center of West Virginia, the last clinic in the state, had already halted abortion services after the bill was passed by the state legislature. In a statement, the clinic's executive director said the ban "unfortunately comes as no surprise" and that it follows years of limited abortion access in the state.

"We provided abortion care for nearly 50 years, and while we have been forced to pause this care right now, we will continue providing the many other essential services we offer," Katie Quinonez, the clinic's executive director, said, adding, "We won’t stop fighting for your right to access comprehensive reproductive healthcare, and we remain committed to providing the care our community needs."

This is part of a calculated, decades-long effort by the forced birth movement to dismantle access to abortion and contraception so they can maintain power and control,"

The bill passed both chambers last week, but returned to the House for a vote after an amendment by the Senate stripped a section of the bill that would see doctors imprisoned for up to 10 years if they perform abortions outside of the exceptions.

The Senate also changed the bill's exceptions for rape and incest. In the House-backed version, rape and incest were excluded from the ban until about 14 weeks' gestation and as long as a report is filed with a "qualified law enforcement officer." In the Senate, the exceptions are until eight weeks' gestation.

The bill passed by legislators requires physicians to report any abortions they perform to the commissioner of the state's Bureau for Public Health within 15 days, including a justification for why the care was provided.
To recap, the "reasonable compromise position" becoming law in WV is "You cannot have an abortion unless it's rape, incest, or the pregnancy is killing you and for now, we won't imprison women and doctors over miscarriages."

Women lose the rights to their own bodies, but at least they aren't being jailed for infanticide.  You know, until SCOTUS makes abortions and miscarriages alike illegal because of "fetal personhood" and women are rounded up and jailed by the millions.

For profit.

Realize the current situation of abortions being legal in some states and criminalized in others is untenable. We're going to get a nationwide federal law or SCOTUS decision as a de facto nationwide law within the next few years. It will not be "left up to the states" for much longer.

Vote like your uterus depends on it, because it does.

Virginia Is For Haters, Con't

Checking in on the far-right administration of Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin, we find that "freedom" in the state means transgender kids -- and college-age adults -- will no longer be recognized by the state without legal documentation by parents.

In a major rollback of LGBTQ rights, the administration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) will require that transgender students in Virginia access school facilities and programs that match the sex they were assigned at birth and is making it more difficult for students to change their names and genders at school.

Under new “model policies” for schools’ treatment of transgender students released Friday evening, the Department of Education is requiring that families submit legal documentation to earn their children the right to change names and genders at school. The guidelines also say teachers cannot be compelled to refer to transgender students by their names and genders if it goes against “their constitutionally protected” free speech rights.

And the guidelines say schools cannot “encourage or instruct teachers to conceal material information about a student from the student’s parent, including information related to gender” — raising the prospect that teachers could be forced to out transgender students to their parents.

School districts must adopt the new state guidelines or “policies that are more comprehensive,” after a 30-day comment period that will begin on Sept. 26, the Education Department said. The Board of Education will not have to vote to adopt the policies.

“These 2022 Model Policies reflect the Department’s confidence in parents to prudently exercise their fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment and the Virginia Constitution to direct the upbringing, education, and control of their children,” the guidelines state. “This primary role of parents is well established and beyond debate. Empowering parents is essential to improving outcomes for children.”

The model policies reverse guidelines published in 2021 by the administration of Gov. Ralph Northam (D). Those guidelines mandated that transgender students be allowed to access restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities that match their gender identities, stipulated that schools let students participate in sports and programs matching their gender identities and required that school districts and teachers accept and use students’ gender pronouns and identities without question.

In their own guidelines, Youngkin administration officials wrote that Northam’s guidance sought “cultural and social transformation in schools” and “disregarded the rights of parents.” The Youngkin guidelines state the Northam-era policies are dead: they “have no further force and effect.”

The Northam guidelines were developed in accordance with a 2020 law, proposed by Democratic legislators, that required the Virginia Education Department to develop model policies — and later required all school districts to adopt them — for the protection of transgender students. The law does not define the specific nature of these policies but says they should “address common issues regarding transgender students in accordance with evidence-based best practices” and says they should be designed to prevent bullying and harassment of transgender students.

But — in a move that is likely to draw legal challenges — the Youngkin administration has used that same law to issue its own version of the Education Department guidelines. The 20-page document released Friday states it is being issued “as required under” the 2020 legislation.
So even if you submit legal documentation -- name change, a new birth certificate, etc --  the state is not compelled to recognize it in any way because of the "religious freedoms" of teachers and instructors. The right to self-identify as transgender means nothing because the state can simply ignore it.

Understand that the GOP wants transgender folk gone, period. Erased. Destroyed. Eliminated.

They are well on their way.
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